With the prevalence rate of leprosy higher among children in Tamil Nadu, Health Minister Ma. Subramanian said screening camps would be started in all schools of the Greater Chennai Corporation and government schools.
“At the national level, the prevalence rate of leprosy was 0.57 per 10,000 population. In Tamil Nadu, the prevalence rate was 0.19/10,000 population. This means one of the 50,000 persons tested was affected by leprosy in Tamil Nadu. But, the prevalence rate is high among children. While it is 6.87/10,000 population at the national level, Tamil Nadu had a prevalence rate of 8.71/10,000 population in the paediatric population,” he said, while taking part in an event to distribute welfare assistance to persons affected by leprosy.
Though this was worrying, he said that Tamil Nadu’s high prevalence rate among children meant that more cases were being detected, he said.
He stressed the importance of early detection of leprosy and timely treatment. This included screening of school children to identify white patches early and treat appropriately. Already, the screening exercise was completed in 20 of the 200 wards of Greater Chennai Corporation, he said.
He said 11,433 persons, affected by leprosy, were receiving the government’s financial assistance in the State. Orders to grant monthly assistance of ₹1,500 were handed over to 43 newly identified patients, he added.